Dry humor is an acquired taste and a niche talent. Dry humor in the form of small toylike sculptures alienates most people, but for the lucky small group that gets it, the reward is very satisfying. Above left is Wilfrid Wood’s “Gay Chav.” Wood writes: “There were a bunch of boys dressed mainly in white and pink tracksuits when I was in Heaven one night. They looked great.” I’ve paired the Chav with “Trevor” (above right), about whom Wood writes: “I was asked to made an overweight taxi driver type for adverts selling pills for diabetics with erectile malfunctions.” Of course!
Most toy art collectors know Wilfrid Wood from the 2007 release of his 7-inch vinyl toy, Coot (above, right). But what do we know of Wood himself?
Wilfrid Wood is an artist who approaches 3D work with a designers sensibility, the process of a craftsman and the aim of an illustrator. Born in London, raised in the Sussex countryside, he studied Graphics at Central St. Martins and now lives in East London.
Humor and hands are the crucial tools with which Wilfrid Wood works:
Wilfrid predominantly works by hand, only occasionally using casting techniques, sketching all his ideas out first and testing their existence in three dimensions with plasticine maquettes. The finished articles begin as a wire armature which is wrapped in aluminium foil, then covered with a polymer clay and then modeled, baked, sanded, airbrushed and varnished to create an immaculate finish.
And because Wilfrid Wood is English, if you’re reading the paragraph above out loud, what Americans refer to as “tin foil,” would be pronounced AL-OU-MIN-EE-UM. I love that.
Wood draws inspiration from friends, faces, bodies, animals, androgyny, toys, cartoons, freaks, images in magazines and contortionists. He then spends his time “Zoomorphising, anthropomorphising, deforming and re-configuring” these raw ideas until they become part of the world that exists in his imagination.
Wood does editorial and advertising work, and lately he’s been working on abstract heads. I can’t help wishing he’d make another naked vinyl humanoid holding a hair care product though! Keep up with his work here. Have a great weekend!